Summer 2012

Protecting an important Qatari heritage building

New contract will see Strainstall Middle East provide crucial monitoring of the structure of the Amiri Palace during works to construct the new National Museum of Qatar.

The Qatar National Museum opened in 1975 in a restored palace originally built in the early 20th century by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani. This palace served as his family residence and the seat of government for approximately 25 years. The building has long been celebrated and in 1980 it received the Agha Khan award for restoration and rehabilitation of Islamic architecture.

This important part of Qatari national heritage is now to become a central focus at the heart of the new National Museum of Qatar. An extremely bold design by eminent architect Jean Nouvel, the concept of the new National Museum of Qatar is inspired by the desert sand rose and grows organically around the former palace. This unprecedented 21st century institution – scheduled to open in late 2014 – will celebrate the culture, heritage and future of Qatar and its people, reflecting a new era in Qatari prosperity, the country’s prominent role in the Arabian Gulf community and its world standing.

With the construction of such a large new building in its immediate vicinity, it is essential that the structure of the Amiri Palace is monitored closely as the work progresses. For this reason the construction project main contractor, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, has placed a contract with Strainstall that will see the James Fisher subsidiary carry out this crucial monitoring function.

Dr Mike Shaw, Strainstall Middle East’s manager explains:

“Given the important heritage status of the old palace and the fact that it is planned to become a central focus for the new museum, the main contractor has placed an order with us for full-time on-site assistance for a minimum of 12 months with a possible extension of a further year.

Dr Shaw adds:

"Our work on this site is primarily focused on vibration monitoring of the structure, with movement monitoring of the structure and adjacent features by conventional surveying techniques. Monitoring response times are further improved by the use of site based alarm systems and SMS messaging that will mitigate the risk of damage to the old palace due to construction activities.”

The confirmation of this order to provide crucial monitoring of such a culturally significant building underscores Strainstall’s commitment to developing its business in Qatar, where the company expects to establish an office to promote and facilitate future business in the country.

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